July 13th, 2006

FireFox 2.0 Beta 1 Release

No hope for a 1.6? Hehe.

Mozilla releases a full Beta release of their extremely popular browser, Firefox.

Changes as quoted from the Beta Release website:

Built in Phishing Protection.
Search suggestions now appear with search history in the search box for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com
Changes to tabbed browsing behavior
Ability to re-open accidentally closed tabs
Better support for previewing and subscribing to web feeds
Inline spell checking in text boxes
Search plugin manager for removing and re-ordering search engines
New microsummaries feature for bookmarks
Automatic restoration of your browsing session if there is a crash
New combined and improved Add-Ons manager for extensions and themes
New Windows installer based on Nullsoft Scriptable Install System
Support for JavaScript 1.7
Support for client-side session and persistent storage
Extended search plugin format
Updates to the extension system to provide enhanced security and to allow for easier localization of extensions
Support for SVG text using svg:textPath

I wonder what specific ‘changes’ were made to the tabbed browsing behavior. There were some instances when my tabs get stuck on one page while the other tabs are frozen and unclickable. Hopefully that was what they meant. I don’t care for the built-in search box feature since I have the Google Toolbar installed. It has its own search box, albeit for Google only, but the great thing about it is that it’s more easily accessible and constructed in a user-friendlier way. I suggest they move the built-in search box to somewhere lower on the left side. It’s placed too high and hardly noticeable. Until they position it more conveniently, to me, the current search box is just overlooked whitespace.

One big change is the shift from InstallShield to NSIS. NSIS, or Nullsoft Scriptable Install System, was initially created by Nullsoft for the ubiquitous Winamp media player. From then on, development of NSIS pushed forward and is now being used by other popular softwares because of its low overhead and better compression. My antivirus program (Kaspersky) uses NSIS. My own theory for this change is the fact that NSIS is free. InstallShield will set you back a cool $2,500 or more. Dare I say that price applies to each release. That for a rather clunky install system that many hate. This is essentially a great move by Mozilla to keep Firefox and their other products free.

Overall, this is a cool release. Same superb browser, a few notches better.

Posted in Browsers, Software

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